4 Tips For Being Positive When Life Is Hard {Give-Away!}

I love my sweet friend Tracie’s new book! It encourages us to count the cost of negative thinking and to change the way we think—and change our lives!  Tracie is giving away a copy of her book along with a PDf study guide to one winner. Here’s Tracie:
We all know life can be hard. People hurt us, the past haunts us, coworkers mistreat us, parents don’t love us, friends don’t consider us, spouses don’t honor us, children don’t appreciate or respect us, finances don’t support us, and our health doesn’t sustain us. Sometimes having a positive outlook and an optimistic attitude can seem impossible to achieve much less maintain.  But even when life gets hard, we don’t have to let our hearts get hard with it.  
Whether or not our hearts and mind stay positive in the midst of hard times is entirely up to us – but all too often we let our negative thoughts eventually harden our hearts. Fortunately, through the strength, peace and joy found in Christ, we are all capable of shattering the hard shell on our hearts through intentionally choosing to think positive. Happiness is a choice, not a by-product of a perfect life. So regardless of what life brings, we can all choose optimism and joy if we so choose.
The first step in pursuing a changed mind and a changed life is believing it can actually happen for you. Below are a few more tips to help you get started with your mind over matter transformation.
1.    Don’t ask “why me”,  ask “why not me”
Maybe you’ve found yourself asking “why me” when life feels hard. When we feel crushed under the weight of our problems, we can’t help but think life is unfair, and maybe God is even unfair since He’s allowing such adversity in our life. But John 16:33 says, “ I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  When I read this verse recently, I was drawn back to the word “all”.  We could assume Jesus meant “all this”, to refer to “all this instruction I’ve told you”. Or we could interpret it to mean, He told us ALL that we would have troubles, which we do.
But at times we might still wonder why others aren’t taxed with the same troubles we are, or maybe it seems we have more than our fair share, leading us to entertain that life is indeed unfair. But the fact that we ALL have difficult circumstances, doesn’t that actually make life fair?  You see, God doesn’t pick favorites, and it wouldn’t be fair for some people to have trouble and others have none. So with that in mind, shouldn’t we consider “why not me?” instead of “why me”? When we are struggling, it helps to remember God is a fair and just God, and He loves us as much as anyone else. All of us get an equal share of His strength to face whatever circumstances are happening in our lives.
2.    Count your blessings. 
Sometimes the hurt or pain life inflicts seems like too much to handle and fears can threaten to paralyze us and steal our hope. Been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. But during one particular season when life was more difficult than ever due to a painful situation in my marriage, I decided to start keeping up with little daily blessings God was giving me in my journal, as opposed just to pouring out my thoughts and anxieties each day. I soon realized that when I focused on my blessings, I felt more positive, even if my circumstances remained the same. As I spent time counting my blessings, I spent less time and energy counting my losses, which helped to boost my spirits throughout each day. And my faith.
3.    Don’t let your fears overtake you. 
I am a worrier. I can’t help it. It’s a problem. I try not to, but I do. I love the Lord and trust Him, but my mind still gets lost in fears from time to time. When I can’t control a situation, I tend to think of all the worst case scenarios that could happen, and then my fears start growing like a thick vine strangling the life out of a fencepost. Maybe yours done too. After all, we’re only human and life often gives us a lot of reason to worry. On days when I find myself feeling burdened with worry and letting my mind run wild with possible worst case scenarios, I recall the hope found in Psalm 23:4 says, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” It’s such a sweet verse to tuck into our hearts when we are feeling afraid of the unknown. The truth is … the “unknown” is probably not near as scary as we think it might be.
4.    Commit to being positive, even if you have every reason to be negative. 
It takes as much energy to be negative as it does to be positive, so why not put our energy into something that will bring joy into our life instead of discouragement and pessimism? This is one tip I forced myself to put into practice in my own life during the most difficult season of my life, as I was spending a lot of time being negative, obsessing over hurt and fears, and letting negative emotions and worries and fears control my life and my happiness. I finally reached the point where I was fed up with feeling negative and sad, and ready to start enjoying life and being happy again. I made the choice to be positive, even when my circumstances were so less-than-positive. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, and it changed my life. When I chose to take control of my mind and my thoughts and my own happiness, I was released from the bondage the enemy had over my thinking patterns and my joy. The same is possible for you, my friend. If you so choose it to be positive today, no matter what.
We can’t change our circumstances or have control the situations or people in our lives, and God may not change them right away either, no matter how much we pray about them. But what we can do is stop obsessing over what we can’t change, start focusing on what we can, and letting God handle the rest.
We can trust God has a plan that we can’t possibly see right now – a good plan to help us prosper, have hope and a beautiful future. We can believe He has a purpose for the things that happen in life, and that somehow He will use it for our good. We can ask for God’s peace, instead of letting negativity and pessimism and worry become a toxic illness in our hearts, minds and lives. We can ask for Him to let us feel His Presence so we know we’re not alone. We can ask for spiritual eyes to see when He is blessing us in little and big ways, and we can always ask for a thank-full heart.
There’s a lot we can’t control, but what we can control is our thoughts, which in turn controls our emotions, giving us more control over our lives. Loving God in the hard times is not always easy, but it always worth the effort.  Once you begin making these 5 tips a part of your every day life, you will be on the cusp of experiencing a true mind over matter transformation. When you change the way you think, your life will take a turn for the better.
Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment for YOUR chance to WIN! 
Give-Away Instructions: Please leave a comment along with your email (so you can be notified if you win!) on why you need Tracie’s new book and study guide. WINNER will be randomly chosen and notified via email.
 Tracie Miles is a national Speaker and Author with the internationally known Proverbs 31 Ministries (www.proverbs31.org) and has spent the last eleven years inspiring women to live intentionally for Christ  In addition to Unsinkable Faith, she is also the author of two best selling books,  Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future(2014) and Stressed Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World (2012). She is also a contributing author to the popular Zondervan NIV Women’s Devotional Bible, and the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Daily Devotional Book.  Tracie is a monthly contributing writer for the Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today daily devotions, which reach nearly one million people per day around the world with encouragement from God’s Word. Tracie has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.  


Jackie Smith said...

I have been hearing so much about this book! I am anxious to read it...I think it will help me a lot at this season. Have just had back surgery and am not doing as well as expected....MORE pain.
Thanks for the giveaway.
jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

Ginny said...

At my age and at this time in my life, it would be so easy to become bitter about life's circumstances. The battle is tough, but I know with the help of God, my family, and good friends, and a positive attitude, I can win! I think I need to read this book as additional artillery! Thank you for this giveaway!


Anonymous said...

Joyce Kaiser said....Your book has hit the spot == RIGHT BETWEEN MY EYES. I have been so negative lately that my teeth are hurting and my finger joints are stiff. Really Joyce == I have decided it IS NOT WORTH ALL OF THAT ENERGY. I think Positive will take some effort also and I may like benewfits better. I have done this to myself before and am now 62 years old = you would think I would learn sometime! Okay - I need to step back, reload in the positive with God on my shoulder, and slowly slip into life. I really feel little short steps are needed as they can be mindful of "staying" better. I thank God for your inspirations this morning and the possibilities in your book. Thanks Joyce

LJ Williams said...

I am so excited to read this book! Having been through a very rough three years with two job losses, family illness, and losing a family member, my faith has been shaken but also strengthened. We serve a mighty and awesome God and His plans are infinitely better than ours, although we may not understand them. Looking forward to deepening my faith with this book. ljmw1966@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

Wow!!! Yes please!!!!!

Unknown said...

At almost 50, still working on this and could use major encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I really needed this today! Thank you for sharing! I'd love to win Tracies new book.

Kela said...

I still need help with my thoughts and emotions daily!!

Terri said...

I would really like a copy of this book for a friend who is going through a hard time. Her life has basically imploded over the last 3 years or so, and she is struggling with depression. She is a believer, but I think she is lost in the downward spiral of her thoughts :-( Thanks!! tchase@wd40.com

jmrs1010 said...

Thank you for the opportunity. I too struggle with my thought life, but the Bible has the answer for my struggles.

Anonymous said...

Great tips!
Martha T.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading Tracie's new book.

Anonymous said...

I would love this book. It would be wonderful book for me to share with my daughter. Life is too full of things that can bring you down and you have to make a choice (a FIRM choice) to be positive and look for the blessings. Sometimes it's a daily choice on the way to becoming a way of life. Thanks you! bck4045@hotmail.com. Cherie K

Anonymous said...

I would love to win the book. If you have not had a terribly hard time, in due time it will probably happen. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds like it would be a real encouragement.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

My copy arrived yesterday and I can't wait to start it today . I would love to win one for a friend of mine that is going through difficult situation that recently changed her life.

Tracey said...

I would love this book because I have a problem letting my thoughts affect my mood. They don't even have to be true but in my head they are. Thank you for writing a book we can all use.


Unknown said...

I have trouble always remembering to count my blessings, and I am really working on being more intentional with that, and letting it flow over for others to see. I also find that I allow fear to overtake me, and at times, I allow fear to steal my joy. I don't want that pattern to continue.
Thank you for the chance at winning what looks to be an awesome book! I admire Tracie so much, as a writer and a mom!

Anonymous said...

Currently learning the hard way! (Tracie_hanberger2@Hotmail.Com)

Anonymous said...

I struggle with negative thoughts. dlpc2005@yahoo.com

Tammy said...

All I can say is WOW!! This is a book I have to read. I suffer from depression and reading the list of things that are negative in ones life is so me. I want to read how to turn my negative into positive. Thank you for this chance to win this book. I know it is a definite must have for me. tdnewman@mail.com

Unknown said...

Great reading I'm sure!

Unknown said...

This book sounds like just what I need to read. I would love to win! Thank you for writing!

Unknown said...

This is an amazing book! I would love to win a copy to be able to pass it along to my sister. Thank you for sharing Tracie's post on your blog.

A Journey For Life said...

I look forward to sharing this with a friend struggling right now in her faith!.

Anonymous said...

I am in a place I never thought I'd ever be in my life... I feel broken beyond repair. But I know there's no truth in that!!! So after reading your blog today... I am choosing to step out of my victim mentality and seeking Him in a more positive and optimistic way.
Truly I'd love to win a copy of Tracies new book. Thank you. God Bless!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to put my email down. My comment was the one that dated I never thought I'd find myself in the place I am in... stopping victim mentality. Sorry about forgetting my email.

Lake Lady said...

Your words are a great encouragement, even for an older woman like me. I am in the midst of making a big change in my life -- I have control over very little in the change. Your book and journal sound as though they would help me stay focused on God not circumstances. Thanks for the offer to perhaps win a copy. lsbeckym@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

It is 4:02am Wednesday and I was directed to your email. "GLORY" So I know the book is for me to trust God and hold on. My email is

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